Assorted links

by on March 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Why is there no European economics blogosphere?  From the new blog Bruegel, which is trying to set things right.

2. What are the odds of predicting a perfect NCAA tournament bracket?, and the precognition results are not replicating.

3. There is no great stagnation, captive canine edition.

4. Why finish books, via Chris F. Masse.

5. IQ, Elo difference, and winning arguments.

Kaganovich March 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Regarding 4: after reading a few paragraphs I asked myself “why finish this article” and stopped reading.

Marie March 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Agree. I know we’ve talked about this here before in relation to a better written article.

Pepe March 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

+1

tkehler March 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm

You lost me at “Regarding 4″…

Just kidding.

But #4 did piss me off. The NYRB writer largely picked a number of modernist novels to discuss as examples of novels that can end at any number of places. That’s unfair. Modernist novels are not representative of all novels, not by a long shot. (In fact, that’s probably the one point that most modernist authors have in common: they want to make it clear that THEIR work isn’t run-of-the-mill.) Typically one doesn’t read modernist novels to find out “what happens next”. Compare best-sellers, romance novels and mysteries/thrillers.

Schopenhauer was most likely talking about stopping reading writers like Kant, who like most philosophers can be read and understood without reading everything (because they repeat themselves and the like).

The NYRB writer also makes stuff up that barely make sense, as when he talks about the “catharsis of exhaustion”, which shows a misunderstanding of both catharsis and exhaustion.

But stupidly I read the entire piece.

Rahul March 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm

>>>But stupidly I read the entire piece.<<<

Why, not-finish books?

Mark Thorson March 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Same here, at the point where he mentions the reader who didn’t read the last 50 pages of his book. I did skim the rest of the article, though. Nothing of interest there, just more taps on a nail already driven home.

My favorite books are engineering monographs. I mostly skim them too, however I usually read the history chapter and the “miscellaneous” or “unusual applications” chapter. I learn a lot of interesting bits and pieces that way. Did you know that you can support the entire weight of a 150-ton locomotive on knife-edge bearings? That’s done all the time on railroad weighbridges.

Jim Glass March 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I asked myself “why finish this article” and stopped reading.

Me too.

Millian March 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

1. Perhaps European economists are more accountable to their employers, thus wasting less time on non-work activity. Three channels: larger government employment levels, larger share of total economist population in central banks, tougher rules about research output of faculty.

Urso March 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Further studies showed precognition isn’t real? I saw that coming months ago.

Rahul March 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Future studies show precognition isn’t real?

axa March 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm
Drunkeynesian March 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

#1 . Question should be why blogosphere in USA is much more rich than anywhere in the world.

Scoop March 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Why cluster the two links in #2 together?

Ben March 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm

“The rest of the article makes the unrealistic assumption that people will be rational and honest when arguing.” (from 5)

I can think of few sentences that are better at getting me to stop reading.

TallDave March 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

2. Bet they didn’t see that coming.

4. I was going to leave a comment but then

Abe March 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm

#4 – I started reading the article, but then decided to put it down.
#5 – Fascinating.

FYI March 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Could #1 be related to the lack of alternative ideologies in Europe? Here in the US one of the main motivators is the right vs left debate. Even when this is not clearly state there is always the tension. On the other hand, even when Europe does implement some ideas that could be associate with the American right (like austerity) it is all done under the umbrella of left wing paradigms (to save the EU!). Europe seems to me like a place where the left has such control that debates are much more marginal. There is no fun in that so people don’t even bother.

Millian March 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Do you know anything about the European left? They are often more sceptical about the European Union than the right, though, as always, the extremes oppose everything.

This is true in France, Ireland, Greece, Denmark. In part, it is because the European Union is the child of the post-war Christian Democrats, particularly Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi. Britain is not all of Europe!

In fact, do you know anything about contemporary politics at all? Europe has a far broader Overton window than the United States, with everyone from communists to ultra-nationalists getting a hearing.

johnl March 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm

The dog collar in 3 looks great. Toy dogs who make it through iron fences often end up as coyote snacks.

TallDave March 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

5. Good piece. There’s an excellent wiki on Monty Hall problem — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem

One problem they don’t mention that comes up a lot is the bias of the known over the unknown. Austrians like to make the point that econometrics can fool us into to false confidence about what we really know about the economy.

jonm March 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm

5. not a good piece.

The second equation

p(IQ2)/p(IQ1)=exp(a*( IQ2 – IQ1))

is wrong and fails for any given IQ1 as IQ2 tends to infinity.

The next derivation starts with an embedded assumption of independence, which surely needs to be stated or argued for.

Merijn Knibbe March 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

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